UK organisations and companies useful to filmmakers creating fiction feature-length films
Lilting directed by Hong Khao - a Microwave scheme supported feature film
British Film Institute (BFI)
The BFI is the lead organisation for film in the UK. It distributes Lottery funds for film and has a wide range of support schemes for fiction feature film including: Development funding; Production funding; Completion funding; International co-production funding; First feature funding; BFI NET.WORK for new and emerging directors, writers and producers; BFI Vision Awards for new generation producers and production companies.
The BFI website also hosts a useful Funding Finder guide to the wide range of funding opportunities for new and emerging writers, directors or producers, to assist with features and professional development.
The BBC is a public service broadcaster and is funded by the UK TV Licence fee. It has a feature filmmaking arm, BBC Films which aims to make strong British movies with range and ambition and is committed to finding and developing new talent. BBC Films is firmly established at the forefront of British independent film-making and co-produces approximately eight films a year. BBC Writersroom champions and supports new writing in film, TV, radio and theatre, seeing itself as responsive, proactive and an open door to writers, always looking at new ways to find and champion talent for all BBC platforms.
Channel 4 is a publicly-owned, commercially-funded public service broadcaster. Film4 is Channel 4 Television’s feature film division with a separate but linked organisation Film 4 Productions, as its feature filmmaking arm.
As well as supporting existing British talent, the organisation offers many opportunities for emerging talent through film production schemes and other
iFeatures is Creative England's low budget feature film initiative, supported by BBC Films, the BFI and Creative Skillset. The aim of the scheme is to support the development and production of low budget feature films, and to discover and mentor the next generation of filmmakers with a passion to tell stories rooted in the English regions.
With each annual round of awards iFeatures funds the development of up to 12 projects. After an intensive six months development process, up to three of these projects will be selected for production, with budgets of £350,000 per film.
Microwave is Film London’s intergrated training and funding initiative for low budget filmmaking. Microwave offers development and mentoring support to all shortlisted projects, as well as production finance and distribution support to the final commissioned films.
Each round of funding sees 12 teams initially shortlisted for the scheme, who receive intensive training at Film London's Microschool along with mentorship and development funding. From this shortlist, six projects are selected to go on to a second phase of development with further funding. Finally, two features are commissioned and receive additional development and production funding of £100,000 alongside distribution funding for finished films.
Guiding Lights is the UK film industry’s most prestigious mentoring scheme. The programme supports upcoming producers, directors, writers, film exhibitors and others through high-level mentoring, complemented by a range of training and networking activities.
BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival
BFI Flare showcases the best in new international LGBTQ filmmaking with Special Presentations and thematic programming, alongside rediscovered and represented archive film and television work. Flare also offers a programme of industry events, networking and mentoring schemes.
BFI London Film Festival (LFF)
The BFI London Film Festival (LFF) is run by the British Film Institute. LFF programmes new features, documentaries and short films from across the globe, and recently restored treaures from the world's film archives. The LFF offers the following awards: Official Competition Best Film; Sutherland Award for First Feature; Grierson Award for Documentary; Short Film Competition; IWC Filmmaker Bursary; BFI Fellowship.
The festival also runs events, education and industry programmes which include conferences, talks, networking events and new talent labs.
Edinburgh International Film Festival
Established in 1947, EIFF is one of the world’s longest running film festivals. The festival showcases films from around the world and especially focuses on new works from emerging British filmmakers. The festival also runs a wide range of training workshops, labs, industry talks, conferences and networking events.
The Wellcome Trust is a charitable foundation whose aim is to improve the health of humans and animals. For many years the Trust has been encouraging the collaboration between scientists and artists to help generate understanding and debate around key issues affecting science and society. This is achieved through a variety of awards and initiatives open to all art forms including film and TV.